How to grow and care for Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) Indoors

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Asplenium nidus Care, Bird's Nest Fern Care

Photo Credit: Jiffy Plants

Botanical name: Asplenium nidus
Family: Aspleniaceae

Bird's Nest Fern Description

Bird's Nest Fern also called Asplenium Fern is a large and bold houseplant, beautiful enough to be displayed as a focal point plant.

The Bird's Nest Fern fronds are fragile, ensure that they are not crushed and that they have adequate room to develop. Remove dead and damaged fronds so that new ones can grow.

As the plant ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain the plant looking neat.

Bird's Nest Fern Size

The spear-like leaves in Bird's Nest Fern which surround the fibrous 'nest' at the center are large and can grow up to 3 ft long. When grown indoors, Bird's Nest Fern can grow to a height of 2 ft.

Bird's Nest Fern Origin

Bird's Nest Fern is native to the warm, moist, tropical rain forests of East africa and Asia where it grows as an epiphyte. However it adapts well to indoor growing conditions.

Bird's Nest Fern Varieties

Some varieties of Bird's Nest Fern include;

Asplenium nidus 'Crispy Wave' which bears sword-shaped, ruffled leaves.

Asplenium nidus 'Osaka' which bears narrow, strap-like leaves with rippled edges.

Asplenium nidus 'Antiquum' which bears leaves with wavy margins.

Asplenium nidus 'Victoria' which bears long, wavy, tongue-shaped fronds.

Asplenium nidus Care, Bird's Nest Fern Care

Photo Credit: Flower Power

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) Care Indoors

Bird's Nest Fern Light Requirements

The best light for growing Bird's Nest Fern indoors is bright, indirect light. Keep your Bird's Nest Fern away from direct sunlight as it may scorch the fronds.

Turn the pot regularly to ensure even growth for your Bird's Nest Fern. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Bird's Nest Fern

For optimum growth of your Asplenium Fern, keep soil evenly moist at all times and never allow it to dry out.

Reduce watering for your Bird's Nest Fern during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Avoid soggy soil as it can lead to rotting of your Bird's Nest Fern.

Avoid wetting the crown as it may lead to crown rot in your Bird's Nest Fern; instead pour the water on the soil or water from below. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Bird's Nest Fern

The best temperature for growing your Bird's Nest Fern is an average warmth between 15-250C.

Protect your Bird's Nest Fern from cold draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Bird's Nest Fern

Asplenium Fern thrives in high humidity. To raise humidity for your Bird's Nest Fern, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

You can also grow your Bird's Nest Fern in the high humidity areas of your home like the bathroom and the kitchen.

How to Clean Bird's Nest Fern

Regularly clean the fronds of your Bird's Nest Fern by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to keep them clean and shiny. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Bird's Nest Fern Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed your Bird's Nest Fern with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing period.

Withhold feeding for your Bird's Nest Fern during the cold season as growth is reduced at this time.

Take care not to overfeed your Bird's Nest Fern as overfeeding can lead to deformed and spotted leaves.

Do not put fertilizer in the central cup or "nest" as it can burn the delicate foliage. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Prune Bird's Nest Fern

Pruning Bird's Nest Fern is easy. Remove dead and damaged fronds from your Bird's Nest Fern so that new ones can grow.

As the Bird's Nest Fern ages, the older, outer fronds turn brown. Cut them off at the base to maintain your fern looking neat.

Ensure you use clean sterilized knife or scissors to reduce spread of diseases. Also, use a sharp cutting tool to avoid unnecessary injury to the plant as it can promote disease infestation.

How to Repot Bird's Nest Fern

Repot a young Asplenium Fern annually at the beginning of the growing season.

For mature a Bird's Nest Fern repot when the the roots fill the pot as they prefer to be slightly root-bound.

Use a pot that is 1 size larger and one that has drainage hole to avoid getting soggy soil for your Bird's Nest Fern.

The best soil for your Bird's Nest Fern is a loose free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter.

Bird's Nest Fern can become top-heavy therefore use a heavy pot to prevent it from toppling over.

Ensure the crown of your Bird's Nest Fern is above the soil surface to prevent the fern from rotting.

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) Propagation

Bird's Nest Fern can only be propagated from spores obtained from the underside of the mature fronds or through tissue culture.

These methods of propagating a Bird's Nest Fern may not be achievable at the home front; in which case propagation is better left to the experts.

Asplenium nidus Care, Bird's Nest Fern Care

Photo Credit: Plant Hawaii

Bird's Nest Fern (Asplenium nidus) Problems Indoors

Why are there brown dots or lines on the underside of fronds of my Bird's Nest Fern?

Brown dots or lines on the underside of your Bird's Nest Fern are spores which can be used for propagation. They indicate that the frond is mature and healthy.

Why is my Bird's Nest Fern have yellowing fronds, brown tips and has no new growth?

The cause of yellowing fronds, brown tips and no growth in your Bird's Nest Fern is too dry air.

To raise humidity for your Bird's Nest Fern, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Why does my Bird's Nest Fern have pale fronds and scorch marks on the surface?

Pale fronds and scorch marks on the surface in your Bird's Nest Fern is caused by exposure of your fern to direct sunlight on the fronds.

Protect your Asplenium Fern from direct sunlight or move it to a shaded place where it will receive bright, indirect light.

Why is there yellowing fronds from the base and mature fronds develop brown spots and fall in my Bird's Nest Fern?

The cause of yellowing fronds from the base and mature fronds developing brown spots and falling is too warm air.

Move your Bird's Nest Fern to a cooler place away from hot draughts.

If your Bird's Nest Fern is also wilting and limpy, then incorrect watering is the cause of yellowing fronds and brown spots on mature fronds followed by leaf drop.

Maintain the soil moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Why are the fronds of my Bird's Nest Fern yellowing?

Overwatering is the cause of yellowing fronds in your Bird's Nest Fern.

Maintain the soil moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings but never allow the soil to get soggy.

Why are the fronds of my Bird's Nest Fern dying back?

There are two possible causes of the fronds die back in your Bird's Nest Fern.

One possible cause of the fronds die back in your Bird's Nest Fern is dry air.

Raise humidity for your Bird's Nest Fern by setting the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

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The second possible cause of the fronds die back in your Bird's Nest Fern is dry soil.

Maintain the soil moist at all times while allowing it to dry out slightly between waterings and never allow the soil to dry out completely.

Why does my Bird's Nest Fern have pale fronds and weak growth?

Underfeeding is the cause of pale fronds and weak growth in your Bird's Nest Fern.

Feed your Aplenium Fern with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once a month through out the growing period.

Why does my Bird's Nest Fern have brown hairy fuzz on the fronds?

Brown hairy fuzz on the fronds of your Bird's Nest Fern is harmless.

As new Bird's Nest Fern fronds emerge from the nest, they bring up some brown fuzz from the nest which sticks on the fronds.

You can remove the brown fuzz from the fronds of your Bird's Nest Fern by gently brushing it off.

Or you can choose to leave it alone as it will eventually dry out to become dust-like.

Why are there brown shells scattered on the fronds of my Bird's Nest Fern?

Brown shells scattered on the fronds of your Bird's Nest Fern are an indication of a infestation by Scale Insects.

Isolate the affected Bird's Nest Fern to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Wipe them off with a damp soft cloth or a cotton bud dabbed or discard the Bird's Nest Fern if it is heavily infested. Avoid chemical use as chemicals can easily destroy the Fern.

Is Bird's Nest Fern toxic?

Bird's Nest Ferns are non-toxic to humans and pets. The plants are safe to grow indoors.

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